Month: September 2013

Health Care and Separation/Divorce – How it is different


Health Care coverage is a big topic these days. The Affordable Care Act brings many changes along with it to the health care industry and to us as consumers. Just what the affects of the Act will be are unknown. There are many issues associated with Affordable Care that have us wondering what will happen in the future and how will coverage, billing and carriers change. There are families out there that rely on plans such as Medicare and Medi-cal (visit to find out more) so they can get treated without getting into extreme debt from no insurance due to low income, so they want to be assured that they will be protected with any changes that may happen.

One of the topics covered in mediation when a couple is separating and divorcing is the issue of health care coverage. How the coverage and associated costs will be handled for children and for the spouses are important things to discuss and have defined in any agreement (will the child/children be covered my Mom or Dad’s insurance and what portion of the costs is each parent covering). This can be a huge expense and needs to be discussed and decided upon and is not necessarily covered with child support payments.

In most cases, spouses who are legally separated can still be covered by a spouses employers insurance. But be sure to check with your employer to be sure that is the case. Once a divorce is finalized, spouses can no longer be covered on each other’s health insurance plans.

For any questions regarding this topic or any others related to separation or divorce, please call me at 585-269-8140.

12 Tips for Negotiating and Compromising with Difficult People

From the Dale Carnegie Coaches Corner:

12 Tips for Negotiating and Compromising with Difficult People

Negotiating is the process of attempting to agree on a solution. Compromising, or settling on a mutually agreeable solution, is the result of successful negotiations. Compromise is all about being flexible. It means being able to generate alternate solutions when you’ve “hit the wall.” Whether it involves a person you can’t get along with, an idea you know will work but that others are reluctant to agree to, a change in office systems, or a turf war that needs ending, learning to negotiate and compromise is essential to your success.”

12 tips to help with the process:

  1. Have a positive attitude.  
  2. Meet on mutual ground.  
  3. Clearly define and agree on the issue.  
  4. Do your homework.  
  5. Take an honest inventory of yourself.  
  6. Look for shared interests.  
  7. Deal with facts, not emotions.  
  8. Be honest.  
  9. Present alternatives and provide evidence.  
  10. Be an expert communicator.  
  11. End on a good note.  
  12. Enjoy the process. 

To read Dale Carnegie’s full article please go to:

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Practice Tip for State of NY Mediators

A very important point for mediators to remember when preparing a memorandum of understanding is that under New York State law, a presumption is created that that many designations made during a marriage are revoked upon a divorce.  Often times, a spouse will desire to have his or her ex-spouse continue to be the beneficiary on an insurance policy or a retirement asset.  Sometimes a spouse will desire their ex-spouse continue as his or her health care agent, or executor or executrix of his or her will.  In all these situations, the presumption is the designation fails upon divorce.  In order to disprove the presumption, the designation must be remade post-divorce or the designation must be included in the judgment of divorce.  A reminder  in the memorandum of understanding that the parties should talk to their attorneys about remaking the designation or including the designation in their judgment of divorce, could help your clients achieve their desired outcome.

Letting Him/Her Down Easy

Making the decision to divorce is a difficult one, particularly if you still care about your partner. You may be tempted to try to soften the blow of your decision by offering some hope of reconciliation. While it seems harmless, if such a possibility is not likely, it can actually cause more pain for your partner.

It is perfectly alright to share with your partner how painful this decision is and your continued care for him or her, but it is also vital that you are honest about your resolution to end the relationship. Offering to “try out” a separation when you know in your heart that you do not want to reconcile gives your partner the belief that there is something she or he can do to fix the problems in the relationship. Your partner deserves the dignity of responding to the reality of the situation and the opportunity to grieve.

If you really are ambivalent about whether or not the marriage is over, our mediators can help you and spouse have an honest conversation to discern what next steps you would like to take. If you need couples counseling, we can make a referral. If there are specific issues within the relationship you want to work on, relationship mediation may be an option. And if you do wish to go forward with a legal separation or divorce, mediation offers a dignified approach that allows you and your spouse to retain control of the decisions that will affect your family.